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Officials say a massive fire at a chemical plant in Passaic has been set, with only crews still on the scene

Officials say a massive fire at a chemical plant in Passaic has been set, with only crews still on the scene

Officials said the truck was now under control following a fire in Passaic, a residential complex on Friday night, sending large fires into the air and heavy plumes of smoke that could be seen from New York City and even on the weather radar.

Firemen are still on scene, putting water on the back of the complex still burning, according to officials.

Firefighters worked in cold weather throughout the night to combat the 11-alarm blaze at the Majestic Industries warehouse and Qualco pool chemical facility on Passaic Street.

Environmental officials in Passaic have said that air quality in the area is at acceptable levels, and that nearby residents have not been evacuated. But he advised neighbors to keep their windows closed for safety.

Residents may come outside, but should not come to this area, Lora said.

According to officials, a firefighter has been taken to the hospital for an eye injury.

Seventeen others have been seriously injured in the blaze, according to authorities.

Several companies in the region including Bergen, Essex, Passaic, and Union counties have managed to keep the flames from reaching Qualco's chemical stockpile, according to officials.

Has it hit the main plant, it would have been, to say the least, a major incident, Lora said. There would have been numerous evacuations, many individuals.

Firefighters were still on the scene at 9:30 a.m. and continue to pour water on the blaze so that it wouldn't spread to the chlorine facility.

Patrick Trentacost, the head of Passaic Fire, said a significant amount of chlorine had been consumed on the site.

The fire is under control and contained, but it is stubborn, according to Trentacost.

The fire's cause has not been determined yet, according to a cook.

The chief of the fire department said he will continue shooting water onto the complex until Saturday night.

Trentacost, a senior engineer, said the fire was not as bad as the inferno last year at Atlantic Recycling, a fire that fought in cold conditions.

Every fire is unique and presents its own set of challenges, said the chief.

In this case, it's a bid to keep the fire from spreading to the chlorine facility combined with extreme temperatures, according to Trentacost.

The complex dating to 1906 was empty except for a security guard when the fire broke out around 8:15 p.m. Friday night.

Majestic Industries' warehouse, along with Qualco's business, has been evacuated.

A large part of the complex has since collapsed, according to the tycoon.

Saturday morning, neither Majestic nor Qualco had immediate responses.

On Saturday morning, Passaic Engine 3 is operating at the scene of a massive fire at a chemical facility in Passaic.Dave Hernandez | For NJ Advance Media for

As firefighters spray water onto the fire, the runoff and overspray begins to freeze on Saturday morning.Dave Hernandez | For NJ Advance Media for

Firefighters have been forced to battle plummeting temperatures and whipping wind. Water has been freezing under their feet, and huge icicles are hanging off one side of the building.

Were doing everything we can to assist our firefighters in re-training them and to rotate them through, Trentacost said. But fighting the elements has been really tough.

The chief said that early on there were a few minor explosions from propane tanks, but that was to be expected, and it was nothing out of the ordinary.

Lora urged residents to be prudent in preventing fires as well as hot summer months.

Its times like these that you really appreciate the heroic efforts of our firefighters, said the mayor.

Saturday morning, firefighters are continuing to fight the blaze in cold temperatures.Aristide Economopoulos | NJ Advance Media

Police have cordoned off about a half-mile radius around the complex, which is in a densely populated area, based on old factories and homes.

Officials had closed portions of Route 21 on Friday night due to the blaze. All lanes have now reopened, according to the state Department of Transportation Saturday morning.

A bit of smoke has slowed across the Passaic River, causing the river to drift.

Saturday morning, firefighters are battling the fire in cold conditions.Aristide Economopoulos | NJ Advance Media

Fire companies across the United States are standing by to help.

A fire on Aycrigg Avenue in the heavily orthodox Jewish Third Ward erupted on Saturday, causing some to think about the huge inferno in the town.

As close to 100 out-of-town firefighters began unraveling hoses, Moshe Jacobs, 21, shook his head in disbelief.

I was wondering why all these firemen were here,, Jacobs said.

Residents are completing early-morning grocery shopping at the C Town near City Hall. A trash hauler hauled garbage on a nearly empty Market Street outside the fire scene.

Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-9th who represents the area in Congress said he promises federal officials to "make sure Passaic has everything they need to stabilize the situation and protect our neighbors."

We are faced with some of the most gruesome and most frightening winter fires in Passaic, Pascrell added. Ive been praying for our neighbors in Passaic while monitoring the situation closely. It appears that the fire is blessedly under control. God bless our fire departments who bravely fought this massive blaze in the dead of night.

Firefighters from all over New Jersey continue to fight the fire Saturday morning.Amanda Brown| For NJ Advance Med

Sunday morning, firefighters from across New Jersey continue to fight the fire.Amanda Brown| For NJ Advance Med

Staff from NJ Advance Media have contributed to this report.

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